Edward Murray, DVM

Edward Murray, DVM
Edward Murray, DVM
Dr. Ed Murray was born to an entrepreneurial rural family in North Alabama in 1949. There were the laying hens, the hatchery that provided hens to the county egg producers, and the started pullet programs that fed those. The producers and the cow-calf operation all revolved around animals of some sort. Ed was always “afraid he would grow up and be a veterinarian.” All the veterinary work he observed in the community was hard, trying work of limited reward and usually in far less than ideal circumstances. As a teenager, neighbors recruited him to assist when veterinary skills were applied—either by the county’s only veterinarian or the self-taught guys who did the dehorning, castrations, and basic deliveries.

After high school, he was off to Samford University to pursue pre-med, pre-dental, pre-law, business—anything but being a veterinarian. After a couple of years there, he gave into those inner-callings and was off to Auburn University for pre-vet and, eventually, their College of Veterinary Medicine (AUCVM). He graduated the youngest in his class in 1973 and returned to his hometown to practice with his hero, Dr. Charles Payton, who happened to also be the county hero and known to all that had animals for comfort, for pleasure, but mostly for providing income for their families.

In 1976, they branched out into the adjoining county as the sole providers of veterinary care, spreading into the other surrounding counties. Then his true underlying fear took over: his desire to pursue equine practice, first as a focus and then a full dedication. As the practice base and obligation grew, he established and built Coosa Valley Equine Center in 1987, a fully dedicated medical facility with hospital, diagnostic and surgical capabilities. Coosa Valley Equine Center was the first such private facility in the state and much of the surrounding states. Coosa Valley Equine Center has grown into what Ed describes as “a true community practice” dedicated to the needs of the horses and their owners.
As the practice has continued to embrace technology and medical prognosis and developments, the geographic community of the practice has grown. “We do everything we can for our horse patients—castrations to colic surgery, MRIs to ultrasound, and diagnostics to digging out abscesses. The community needing these services has grown in concentration and geographically.” As Ed describes, “about two-thirds of our clients come from inside an hour or two; the rest get on an interstate and find their way here. We do our best to make their trip worth it.”
Ed’s 49th anniversary of graduation from AUCVM was June 5th, 2022, making this the 49th or 50th year of practice depending on how you count the years. But it is mainly counted by the simple phrase, “in a row!”

The main goal of the practice continues to be to meet the needs of its surrounding community for medical support and simple advice. One of his largest spots of pride is the dozens of aspiring veterinarians who have passed through Coosa Valley Equine Center as pre-vet students; vet students for rotations, for preceptorships, and internships; and associate veterinarians. Many have pursued careers as veterinarians—some as equine vets—and some decided early on “this is just not for me,” an invaluable lesson in and of itself.

Ed has been involved in numerous pursuits supporting veterinary medicine; his favorite is hosting numerous CE events at the Coosa Valley Equine Center facility.
His most important ancillary support has been serving as a board of director member for the AQHA since 1986. After 12 years on their Research Committee—including 3 years as Vice Chairman and 3 years as Chairman—and taking every project site visit available, that introduced him to the best minds in the industry and their ideas. He attempted to bring their forward-thinking ideas home to Coosa Valley Equine Center and its “community practice.” He has served on numerous boards, councils, and committees for AUCVM.

His proudest professional award was receiving the AUCVM Wilford S Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award, resulting in a graduation address. Making the award especially rewarding was that a prior recipient was his “hero” Dr. Charles Payton, whose character and life have served as a goal and blueprint for so many lives. He attends St. Simon Peter Episcopal Church where he serves as Lay Eucharist Minister with multiple terms on Vestry and as Warden.

And yes, he does still practice—full time every day. He tries to stick to “half days–7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. “I get a little tired after that.” His favorite thing to do in practice now? “I love those colic surgeries; they are all gonna die if you don’t do them! I’d rather be taking a nap at 2:00 a.m., but you gotta give a little back every now and again!”

Mentee Comments

Dr. Ed Murray was of the hardest workers I know. His dedication to patient care along with a sincere focus on the customer allows him to have an amazing carrier in Equine Veterinary Medicine. His advice of not letting your opinion hinder your ability to learn is a truth to live by! Thank you for being an amazing professional and a mentor to so many along the way!

– Monty McInturff, DVM, Tennessee Equine Hospital, Thompson’s Station, TN.